A co-worker once told me that my brain was like a crowded mall. This was back when I worked in an office and we were experiencing a slight lull in the workday and decided to have a little fun finding comparisons for what was going on in our minds most of the time. One co-worker’s brain was compared to a peaceful meadow, mine was compared to a crowded mall.
At another job years later, another co-worker told me I bring up topics like we’ve already been having a conversation about them – because basically, my mind doesn’t stop. It’s always going and most of the time it jumps around without my consent. It’s frustrating and probably not good for my long term mental health, something that has been growing more apparent to me the older I get.
I’m not really sure why I’m telling you this, I guess it’s because lately my mind won’t stop. Sometimes I think it hurts my productivity because I find my mind drifting off or switching gears and for a control freak like me, that can be frustrating. This week I have been trying to focus most of my attention on training for the half marathon that is quickly approaching and trying to come up with a blog post schedule to stick to. If I can shut my mind up just a little and my motivation can stick around, you’ll be getting a lot more regular posts from thenkrystalsays.com.
September 27th is one of those dates on the calendar that always makes me pause. 20 years ago today I lost my father. Not that I want to make this an extremely depressing journal entry but for the sake of being open about what I’m feeling and what’s going on in my life, I didn’t really feel like I could hide it. I’m sure there will be some people who will read this and have no idea that my dad died in car accident when I was 12.
Please don’t feel sad. I don’t want to bring down your day with a depressing post about death. I do miss him a lot and would give anything to be able to know him now and have him be apart of my life. Since day-to-day tasks and responsibilities keep my mind going nonstop, it’s refreshing to be forced to stop and remember him today, even if it does make me sad. After 20 years you can probably imagine that the pain subsides and you learn to deal, but that doesn’t ever mean that it’s easy.
That last few years I’ve started really understanding how young my dad was when he passed. At 12 I couldn’t quite grasp it. When you’re young, adults come in one category without much emphasis on age. Parents, grandparents, teachers – they were all the boss of me, I never really focused on how old they were. My dad made it to 33. I always knew he was young when he died but I never really grasped how unfinished his life was. I focused more on how unfinished our life together was. I thought about the things he would miss and the moments I would want him to be there for: graduations, birthdays, my first apartment, and other important accomplishments.
I never considered who my dad was independently from me. I never thought about his hopes and dreams or what he wanted for the future. I come from a complicated family with lots of addiction issues and I spent a lot of my childhood not knowing my dad at all. I never really got a chance to get to know him. I only got a few years of him actively in my life before he was gone. Being so close now to the age he was then, has me considering much more than I was able to at 12.
I’m 32 and I still am not 100% sure what I want out of life. I know what I don’t want, which I think has always been my biggest asset and has steered me to where I am now. I believe that my dad would be proud of me and that gives me comfort when I’m the saddest. I wish I had more concrete memories of him and had an opportunity to truly understand who he was. I don’t want to ramble on about this more than I have but I do ask you to take time to appreciate your dad today. Or if you have also lost your dad, take a moment to remember him.
Sometimes it feels wrong, borderline selfish to immerse myself in his memory, mourning the loss of him and then transition back into life seamlessly. It’s hard to do it in writing (transitions have never been my strong suit) but it’s almost second nature to switch from thinking about him now to packing for my trip to Boston tomorrow, going to work later or just getting on with my life. The rational part of me knows that those kinds of things just have to get done. The irrational part of me feels guilty, self-centered and wants everything in the world to stop and acknowledge how horrible of a person I am for sometimes forgetting that I should be sad.
‘Life goes on’ is a cruel saying. ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ is fleeting and doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Sure those kinds of words can offer comfort and allow a person to get out of bed in the morning but there is always something just a little off. Like a wobbly table you shove something under to hold it steady, you never know when it’ll get nudged just enough to shake, or when someone will yank the temporary fix out from under it and the whole thing starts to teeter. I’m teetering a lot today as you can probably tell, but I’ll get a fork or some bunched up napkins back in their place and be better soon.
I do want to thank you for allowing me the space to open up today. I don’t walk around with these kinds of things on display for everyone to see and mostly I don’t like talking about it because I don’t want to be sad. I also don’t want to be the reason anyone else is sad. And most importantly I hate making people uncomfortable when they unknowingly ask about my dad without knowing where the conversation is headed.
I hope to continue to be as open as I can be in these posts and hope I can connect with more people by being unapologetically me. I promise they won’t all be depressing. Next week I’ll be back here again sharing about my trip to Boston and anything else on my mind. Until then…